Royal Gunpowder Mills

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Set in 170 acres of natural parkland and boasting 20 buildings of major historic importance, the site mixes fascinating history, exciting science and beautiful surroundings to produce a magical day out for all the family. Established in the 17th century and acquired by the Crown in 1787, the Royal Gunpowder Mills has a very important place in both the history of Great Britain and of its home town of Waltham Abbey.

Venue Type:

Science centre, Museum

Opening hours

Please see website for details.

Admission charges

Please see website for details.


  • English Heritage
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
a photograph showing he contents of a 1940s shop

1940s Exhibition

  • 1 January 0200 — 1 January 2020 *on now

Explore war-time life with reconstructions from the 1940s. Experience the sights and sounds as you step inside an Anderson air-raid shelter, peek into a war-time kitchen, and toy shop, and browse in a 1940s general store.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
VE Weekend 2018


  • 5 — 7 May 2018

tep back into a time of celebration and remembrance for VE Weekend, with battle re-enactments, living history, celebration, family activities and theatre.

VE Weekend brings to life the last months of the 2nd World War. Over 300 re-enactors from all over the world assemble in a show area of tents, jeeps, barracks and field kitchens for one of the last battles of the European theatre March 1945. Visitors can tour the field finding out from soldiers what life was like on the front line and on Sunday and Monday part of the battle is re-enacted. In another part of the site it is May 1945, war in Europe is over, and civilians are helping visitors to join in the celebrations!

ALL DAYS – The 1940’s Street Party will be here to entertain visitors all throughout the weekend. Join us out on the street for singing, dancing and jiving all throughout the weekend. Then pop along to see “Spam, Sandwiches & Bunting” an interactive show staged in our Theatre.

Tour the different camps of servicemen on the field and ask questions and watch their preparations. Feast on fabulous food throughout the weekend with a selection of themed fancies in the “Victory Filling Station”. Visit the Gunpowder Café for a great selection of snacks and drinks and try some of our pop-up food outlets for delicious food from all over the world.

Professor Nitrate and Mad Lab team are also on hand with a great variety of family activities. Join us for KABOOM the interactive science show. You can make your own Rocket, have a go at our Rail Rockets, Design your own T Shirt and have a go on our Test Range to test your skills as a solider with our Airsoft Guns

BANK HOLIDAY SATURDAY – Visitors find everything going on except for the battle re-enactment. This is a day with more space to get in-depth conversations with re-enactors and enjoy the entertainments.

BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAY & MONDAY (3PM) – On both days at 3pm our re-enactors bring one of the last WW2 land battles to life. Witness the opposing sides using their training and tactics in ‘Operation Varsity’

VE WEEKEND May 5, 6 and 7 – Doors open 10am and Last Entry is 3pm. Allow around 4 – 5 hours to get around our fantastic site and to view everything we have on offer. This event is popular. Pre-Booking is advised (but does not guarantee parking or Science shows and Theatre which are offered on a first come, first served basis).

Suitable for

  • Any age


£10.50 - Adults
£8.50 - Kids
£9.00 - Concessions


Royal Gunpowder Mills
Beaulieu Drive
Waltham Abbey



General enquiries



01992 707370

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.